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ISLAMABAD: The IT and IT-enabled Services (ITeS) export remittances comprising computer services and call centre services increased by around nine per cent during the first half (July-December) of the current fiscal year 2023-24 and remained $1.455 billion compared to $1.335 billion during the same period of last fiscal year.

The official data showed that ITeS exports’ remittances increased by around 17 per cent on a month-on-month (MoM) basis in December 2023 and remained $303 million compared to $ 259 million in December 2023.

On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the sector export remittances increased by around 23 per cent compared to $247 million in December 2022.

The ICT export remittances, including telecommunication, computer, and information services, stood at $2.597 billion, a negative growth rate of around one per cent in the fiscal year 2022-23 compared to $2.619 billion in the fiscal year 2021-22.

Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Dr Umar Saif told the Business Recorder that efforts of the Pakistan Software Export Board and the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication in close coordination with the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) to improve the ease of doing business environment is building IT industry’s confidence, resulting in an increase in IT and ITeS export remittance receipts.

The trade surplus of $1.251 billion, the highest in all services (85.98 per cent of total ICT export remittances) has been realised by the IT and ITeS industry during July to December 2023 of fiscal year 2023-24, an increase of 7.11 per cent as compared to trade surplus of $1.168 billion during the same period last year. Whereas, the Services sector has overall recorded a trade deficit of $1.43 billion during July-December 2023 of fiscal year 2023-24, the minister added.

He further said that ICT sector exports of $1.455 billion are the highest among all Services (38.64 per cent of total export of services) with “Other Business Services” trailing at $785 million.

The minister recently unveiled the first-ever IT and ITeS export strategy to increase Pakistan’s IT exports, up to $ 10 billion in the next three years.

The country has the potential of increasing exports to $12-15 billion, according to the strategy. Highlighting the strategy to increase ICT exports, Dr Saif said that according to the official figures, IT exports are $2.6 billion, and by adding another 200,000 skilled people to the existing IT workforce will increase exports to $5 billion.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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